Friday, October 3, 2008

Ibu Pertiwi

Ibu Pretiwi.

CD Release date: 17th February 2006.

This CD contains all the tracks on Lokananta cassette ACD 007. The cassette was issued on the 10th of April, 1972. Recording dates of the tracks are supplied below.
Keluarga Karawitan Studio RRI Surakarta led by P. Atmasunarto, with Ki Nartosabdo as conductor. Tracks 4 & 7 recorded in Semarang - Paguyuban Condong Raos, directed by Ki Nartosabdo.

1. Ketawang Ibu Pretiwi, P nem, 16 April 1969
Persinden: Sumarmi
Umpak: introduction.
Our motherland has given enough food and clothing for loyal and dedicated people. With a deep love of mankind, she is very just and fair and has a noble character. Therefore, let us serve her.
Second part:
This is the primary tune. The one before was only an umpak.
This is the essence. Ngelik means high tone/sound
If we go back to the accompaniment for a wedding ceremony in Surakarta area, this ngelik (high singing) is used for kirab or procession. When the bride and groom come out from the dressing room, they walk toward the pelaminan (a dais on which the bridal couple sit). This tune is also used in a fragment depicting Janoko Cakil (Arjuna and the Ogre with a funny fang/Buta Cakil). The part where Janoko dances uses this tune. This piece functions as kembangan.

2. Ketawang Subakastawa (Gubahan) or Rinengga, P nem, 1 May 1969
Ki Nartosabdo is a pioneer of composition. He uses many old tunes which he brings back to life with new words. This is an example
Persinden include Ngatirah and Sumarmi.
“It’s so beautiful, the white clouds over the mountain. Clear running water flowing through the rice fields, watering the rice plants, corn, cassava, beans and sorghum. The sound of water flowing. Sah…Sah…Sah, The farmers are making noises to frighten away the birds from eating the plants.”
In the pedalangan (shadow puppet) world, this tune accompanies the delicate and subtle nature of Janoko’s (Arjuna’s) movement. But, the one before, which used the kendang ciblon, is for accompanying Semar, Petruk and Bagong. The repertoire is very alive. It includes male and female vocals which are sung in turn. This is a Nartosabdo creation. It shows a western influence. At that time in the 60s, this type of presentation of a tune in Java was still very rare. Now it is quite common.

3. Swara Suling. P nem, 1 May 1969
The musical genius of Ki Nartosabdo comes into play with this song which it is said was suggested to him by his great friend K.R.T.Wasitodiningrat better know these days as Pak Cokrowasito from Yogyakarta.
The song existed as a vocal only. Ki Nartosbdo’s brilliance was to take this simple 8 beat melody and embellish it with an instrumental part featuring five different types of drum.
This piece has become one of the most loved pieces all over Indonesia. Many variations have been made upon this theme, amongst them being the wonderful “gambang suling” Balinese versions of the piece.
Lyric: The sound of flute carries across and reaches the ears of a listener with a saddened heart. The flute often displays a sadness which can comfort those in distress.
The ketiping, kentrung, suling and kendang all combine to make this piece lively. The rigorous sounds cause the heart to beat.

4. Rujak Jeruk, Sl M, 4 May 1970
Persinden: Ngatirah
This piece begins with a bawa or poetic sung interlude. In happy tunes females sometimes sing the bawa as is the case here. In more serious music the bawa is always sung by the male. This bawa is known as Sinom Rujak Jeruk. This is a new composition composed by Ki Nartosabdo
While waiting at the door for my husband to return, I wile away the time by slicing and cutting fruit. I am making rujak (fruit salad), not forgetting to prepare everything properly first. Making this rujak will be a remedy for my longing. I add some water to the rujak. Inside the layah (a bowl-like stone mortar used to make rujak), the red palm sugar and chilies are already prepared. Not long after my salad is ready. I hope the father of my child will come home.
This song depicts a mother and wife left by her husband, but she is able to cope.“This is how I feel after not have seen my husband for long time. However, it does not matter as long as all our needs are fulfilled. Do not forget me so that our dignity is maintained. Your child is crying. Is this a sign that something is wrong? I hope you always remember me, do not let yourself tempted by a woman with lighter coloured skin.
This gendhing is often used for humorous, playful performance. When there’s a dagelan lawak (comedian) performing, the tune is used to accompany the players when they enter the stage.

5. Ketawang Suka Asih, PB, with Bawa. Sinom Logondhang, 1 May 1969
Pesinden: Sumarmi
Starts with Bawa Sinom Logondhang
“With a deep love, a mother brings her child up. Teach your child to speak, “O, my baby, don’t cry. I always pray to God so all your wishes may come true. Yet, my child, you must be willing to work hard so when you grow up you can become a leader of our beloved nation.”

6. Santi Mulya, P5, 4 December, 1969, Pesinden: Ngatirah
Santi = to pray to God, Mulya = prosperity, blessed with happiness and wealth.
Fly the flag of our nation,
May prosperity prevail,
Prosperity for Indonesia so she is forever filled
With a noble determination,
United in order to prosper, and of good character
So that the nation is peaceful
and exists forever, facing no obstacles.
More perfect when our lives are based on Pancasila.
So our nation is glorious.

7. Kalongking, P nem, 5 May 1970
persinden: Ngatirah
Bawa Pucung: The text is new, but the melody is old. This is also a Ki Natosabdo creation. Kalongking means a huge bat.
The song describes:
Fruit bats fly to and fro in a group,
Selecting trees that are loaded with fruit.
They quarrel and fight for the fruit as soon as they arrive.
They are too busy fighting to see that a trap has been set.
The result is that they fall into the trap and are caught.

8. Mbok Ya Mesem, Sl sanga 30 May 1969
Give us a smile
A smile gives comfort to people who are quiet and rather sad. Melancholy is dangerous.
The man asks that the promises he and his wife made when they were young lovers courting should still hold good.
“Let us laugh together, and work in a good and honest way. That way I believe that we will certainly attain our desires.”

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Lokananta was a company which produced some very great recordings of gamelan (especially from Central Java) in the 60's and 70's. Lokananta now is recording "label" of Perum Percetakan Negara Surakarta Branche, Central Java.
The recordings were sold as cassettes and were very popular.

Upacara Pengantin
Release date November 17, 2005
Cassette: acd 004

Gambir Sawit
Release date December 17, 2005
Cassette: acd 101

Beber Layar
Release date January 17, 2006
Cassette: acd 042

Ibu Pretiwi
Release date February 17, 2006
Cassette: acd 007

Lumbung Desa
Release date March 17, 2006
Cassette: acd 127

Klenengan Gobjog
Release date April 17, 2006
Cassette: acd 001

KlenenganRelease date May 17, 2006
Cassette: acd 002

Gending Soran
Release date June 17, 2006
Cassette: acd 010

Release date July 17, 2006
Cassette: acd 014

Release date August 17, 2006
Cassette: acd 015

Rampak Sekar
Release date September 17, 2006
Cassette: acd 018

Release date October 17, 2006
Cassette: acd 037

The series is complete. These recordings were remastered by the Polosseni recording/mastering team in Solo and Bali and the studios of Grevillea Mastering, Albion, Qld. Australia.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Beber Layar

CD Release date: 17th January 2006.
This recording features the Degung RRI, Bandung, playing Sundanese (West Java/Indonesia) music.
Performers: RRI Bandung Gamelan Degung
Leader:E. Tjarmed,
Vocals: Iwik Suwarsih, Tjitjih Rukaesih, Munah Suryamah, Eros Rosita.
Lokananta cassette ACD 042 was issued on 22 November ,1973

1. Beber Layar: 7.56

Featuring Rampak Sekar = choral singing
Beber Layar can be translated as “raising the sails” as the ship moves out into the ocean to begin its voyage. The sail is raised and the wind fills it and the ship is now sailing between the islands.
As is often the case the ship runs into turbulent seas and the waves make the journey uncomfortable. The sailors say they cannot complain as this is the way of life they have chosen for themselves.
The people on the shore see the ship silhouetted against the setting sun and admire its beauty
from afar.

Note: Rampak Sekar = choral singing - This is not usually featured in Sundanese singing and may be the result of Sundanese women being organised into “Dharma Wanita” or women’s groups within a government organization.

2. Layung Sari: 7.09

Layung Sari is a rainbow.
This song tells a story about the greatness of God. The rainbow shines on the area of Pasundan - the area of Bandung. God in his greatness sends beauty through the rainbow to enhance the women of Bandung (Sunda) and the culture of the area. The Sundanese women/wives and the Sundanese music and dance get their beauty from God.

3. Ladrak: 5:44
Anggana Sekar : Solo singing
Ladrak translates simply as noise.
This song hopes to stir people who are complacent into doing something for themselves and therefore for their nation. Instead of just sitting around these people can become productive.
The world will become a place where the cost of living is reasonable and everyone is happy.
4. Paksi Tuwung: 6 .41
Eros Roswita & Iwik Suwarsih (vocal)
Anggana sekar = Solo
A bird in the drylands.

Living in Sunda is healthy and fragrant. Palawija is sweet potato and sugar cane. It looks good as it grows. It is green, oh so green.

5.Cirebonan – cirebonan gancang: 8.14

Anggana Sekar = Solo
Tjitjih Rukaesih, Eros Roswita & Iwik Suwarsih (vocal)
“Don’t sit and daydream all the time”. Get up and do something even if it is a bit naughty. We must feel sorry for a child if it cannot play and be active.
This type of Cirebon tune has become standard Sundanese music. It is not performed this way in Cirebon. The tune is performed 16 times and the last four are very much faster known as cirebonan – cirebonan gancang. The slow version is classic Degung. There are many of these Cirebonan and they cover many topics. They are popular Sunda Degung pieces

6.Kembang Kapas: 5.48

Iwik Suwarsih (female vocal). Ada penyanyi laki-laki.
The title translates as “The flower of the kapok tree”.
The song asks for help from God so that this couple’s health will remain good. The husband and wife are very much dependant on each other and ask for God’s help in maintaining their health.
This is also a cirebonan-cirebonan piece.

7.Gambir Sawit: 10.00

A story of Purwakata – Siliwangi
This story set at the time of the reign of Prabu Siliwangi. At that time his kingdom was great.
Now there is only a small reminder of that greatness written on a rock in Bogor. The song asks how we can read what is written on that rock?
The second part of the song is an improvisation which conjures up images of how life may have been in the time of that great empire.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Rasa Sayange

Rasa Sayange direkam oleh Lokananta tahun 1958, kemudian pada 15 Agustus 1962 dibagi sebagai suvenir bertepatan saat pelaksanaan pesta olahraga Asian Games di Jakarta oleh Presiden Soekarno. Presiden Soekarno memberikan piringan hitam tersebut sebagai cenderamata kepada pimpinan kontingen tiap negara peserta Asian Games dimana lagu "Rasa Sayange" menjadi salah satu dari delapan lagu yang ada.Piringan hitam yang merekam delapan lagu-lagu rakyat seperti Rasa Sayange, Caca Marica, Suwe Ora Jamu, Gelang Sipatu Gelang, dan Rayuan Pulau Kelapa. Catatan rekaman Rasa Sayange dari Maluku tersebut masih terdokumentasi dengan baik di Lokananta Solo."Kalau ingin mempermasalahkan secara hukum mengenai kepemilikan, maka merekam merupakan salah satu bukti yang kuat," kata Jero Wacik yang dalam jumpa pers tersebut didampingi oleh musisi asal Maluku, Christ Pattikawa, Ketua PAPPRI (Persatuan Artis Penyanyi, Pencipta Lagu, dan Penata Musik Rekaman Indonesia) Dharma Oratmangun dan Sekretaris PAPPRI, James F Sundah serta Dirjen HAKI Depkumham Andy Noorsaman Sommeng.Dia mengatakan pihaknya dibantu dengan dan musisi Indonesia lainnya sedang mencari bukti yang lain mengenai lagu Rasa Sayange melalui satu Yayasan dari Jepang, Minoru Endo Music Foundation (MEMF) yang pada 1997 mengkompilasi lagu pop dan lagu rakyat yang populer dari negara-negara di Asia.Setelah mengkompilasi, Yayasan Minoru membukukan dua ribu lagu dalam buku "Evergreen Song 2.000" dan menyebarluaskan buku itu."Tapi karena ada pembatasan, maka tidak semua ditulis, hanya ada 19 lagu Indonesia yang ditulis partiturnya dan ada 50 lagu yang terdaftar di buku itu, dan lagu Rasa Sayange tidak terdapat dalam 50 lagu itu," kata Jero Wacik.Dia mengatakan saat ini pihaknya tengah mencari informasi apakah dari 2000 lagu yang dikompilasi oleh Yayasan Minoru terdapat lagu Rasa Sayange.